The purpose of this design project was to propose qualities in communication as design recommendations for developing assistive communication devices for infants with Deafblindness in order for the infant to feel connected to the context and for the caregiver to feel connected to the infant, without the need for physical contact. The design process resulted in six qualities: Direct, Spatially informative, Fluent, Individual, Turn-taking, Feedback and a final concept supporting these qualities.
The concept consists of a blanket that can connect to the microphone of a mobile phone. The mobile phone provides the blanket with the caregiver’s location (direction and distance) making it spatially informative and transfers speech directly into vibrations. The concept strives to support fluency in a conversation by using the individual prosodic qualities of rhythm and tempo in a person’s voice as input, which transfers into vibrations in the blanket as an output. As it is not a software that translates a language but transfers voice to vibrations, there are possibilities to develop interpersonal communication. Furthermore, the concept of the blanket takes the qualities of turn-taking and feedback into account to structure a frame of communication, which is needed to confirm if the information has been received and understood.
In today's situation, the average screen time for children between 5-16 years old is 5 hours and 54minutes.
This has caused social isolation, which can have lifelong consequences on the brain, relationships, and the ability to make sense of the world. Research found that just one hour of screen time can lead to children and adolescents experiencing decreased curiosity and lower emotional stability.
Imagine a world where a generation has forgotten how to express and interpret/understand other people's emotions. They can no longer pick up the small cues that could signal an emotional state of insecurity, fear, joy, or stress and the reason being that the screen-world we live in today, where life is experienced through screens and emotions is expressed in emojis, have shaped this generation's understanding of the world.
This project was executed as a group work, where we took an activity-centered approach. We used our bodies to experiment and explore impersonal and interpersonal communication using human touch and technology.
The goal was to explore the physicality of breathing, translate it to a set of emotions and simulating it by using sensors and actuators.
4 weeks, 2019
Result described with a storyboared.
a) Mother sharing her location (direction and distance) with her infants who is lying on the blanket, while she puts on her shoes.
b) The father connects to the blanket as well from inside the kitchen. The infant understands who they are by what they say and how they say it and where they are by clear directions of the vibrations.
And dad is over here!
Hi, Im here!